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OBJECTIVE: Umbilical and epigastric hernias are relatively frequent amounting to about 10% of all primary hernias. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of laparoscopic primary ventral hernia repair.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: From January 2002 through July 2007 a total of 23 consecutive patients were treated by laparoscopy for primary ventral hernia. Main demographics, intraoperative and postoperative data were collected. RESULTS: There were 14 males and 9 females with a mean age of 53.1 yrs (range 28-70 yrs). Mean body mass index was 25.2 kg/m2 (range 19.4 – 35.2). Fifteen patients had an umbilical hernia, 6 patients had an epigastric hernia and 2 a Spigelian hernia. Mean defect size was 8,4 cm2 (range 1.7 – 81.6). Mean mesh size was 115.9 cm2 (range 62.8-310.8). Mean operating time was 76.1 min (range 50-130). Mean hospital stay was 3,4 days (range 2-8). The median postoperative pain score (evaluated by a visual analog scale – VAS) was 2 at day 1, 4 at day 3 and 1 at day 7. Morbidity rate was 4.3%. After a mean follow-up of 28.5 months none recurrences were observed. CONCLUSIONS: Our study confirmed the feasibility of laparoscopic repair in terms of postoperative morbidity and recurrence rate. Thus laparoscopic primary ventral hernia repair should be considered an effective alternative to open techniques.